Signs it’s time to get a new forklift

Signs it’s time to get a new forklift

29/11/2023 / 793 / Forklift Care
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If your business relies on forklifts day-to-day, eventually there will be a point when it’s time to invest in new equipment. It’s a decision most don’t take lightly – buying a new machine is a big financial investment. But while a lot of people are understandably determined to continue to use, maintain and repair their older forklift fleet, there are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to invest in a new forklift.

Let’s go through the signs your forklift is no longer meeting your needs, and when it’s time to upgrade to a newer, more efficient forklift.

How long do forklifts last?

On average, a forklift’s lifespan is around 10,000-12,0000 hours – that’s around 5 or 6 years of regular use. If you’re using a forklift heavily and not maintaining it correctly, its lifespan could be much shorter – while equally, a well-maintained forklift will perform for longer.

Almost all forklifts have an hour meter which helps you keep track of how many hours it has been used for, similar to a mileage meter in a car.

Some things that could reduce the lifespan of a forklift include:

  • Working in corrosive environments
  • Working in excessive heat or cold
  • Working in environments with heavy dirt
  • Working in wet or damp environments
  • Operator behaviours like heavy braking, collisions or missed inspections

A forklift that’s used in generally clean, cool and dry conditions, and is looked after well, will have the best lifespan.

Signs your forklift is no longer meeting your needs

While performance will naturally decrease over time, there are some tell-tale signs it’s time to invest in a new forklift. Here are some of the main signs your forklift is no longer meeting your needs:

An increase in maintenance
A forklift should always be regularly maintained, no matter its age. But if there’s a noticeable increase in necessary maintenance to keep your forklift running as it should, it might be time to consider a replacement. There is a point when buying a new forklift becomes the most cost-effective option, so carefully weigh up whether paying for maintenance on your old truck is actually cheaper – it might be time to cut your losses.

Decreased performance
If your forklift is noticeably performing more poorly and maintenance isn’t solving the problem, it might simply be coming to the end of its lifespan. A severe decrease in performance could lead to downtime that could cost your business money, so always ensure your fleet is able to perform as it should.

Outdated technology
In a world where technology is always changing, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest tech. While some technology updates aren’t necessary for effective forklift operation, if your machine is so old it’s missing out on important safety features, you might benefit from the advanced tech of a newer model.

Low availability of parts
Even if your old forklift has been well maintained and is still performing well, if you’re increasingly struggling to get hold of parts for it, it could be becoming obsolete. Opting to upgrade your machine to a new forklift will mean you’re able to benefit from readily available, modern components – meaning easier maintenance and repairs, and reducing any downtime from waiting for difficult-to-source parts.

Forklift rental vs. purchase

If your old forklift is no longer performing and it’s clear you need a new machine, you might be wondering about the difference between buying and renting. There are clear pros and cons for each, and ultimately it depends on your needs.

Renting a forklift

The pros

  • A more flexible financial option with lower initial costs
  • Rental agreements often include maintenance
  • Adaptable and great for seasonal or fluctuating business needs

The cons

  • No ownership benefits
  • No options for customising
  • Long-term rental expenses can add up

Find out more: Guide to forklift truck hire in Yorkshire – the process

Buying a forklift

The pros

  • A long-term investment
  • Flexibility to customise to meet your needs
  • Full ownership which contributes to your business’s value

The cons

  • Much higher upfront cost
  • Maintenance responsibility
  • Depreciation over time

You should consider buying a new forklift truck if your business has a consistent need for a forklift, and you’re financially able to cover the upfront investment. If your needs are dependent on seasons or individual projects, or you’d prefer a flexible financial arrangement, renting could be for you.

How to find a reputable forklift dealer

If you’re looking to add a new truck to your fleet, choosing a reputable dealer is key. Here are the steps you should take to make sure you find a trustworthy forklift dealer, as well as how to get the best price on a new forklift.

Research thoroughly

Use Google to look for potential forklift dealers close to you, then take a look at their testimonials and reviews. These provide great insight into the dealer’s reputation and customer service.

Years of experience

You should always prioritise dealers with a significant number of years in the industry. Longevity is a really strong indicator of a dealer’s expertise, and these dealers will have much more experience meeting customer’s needs.

Product range

Ideally, your chosen dealer will have a diverse range of forklift brands and models. Offering a wide selection means a dealer will be able to make genuine recommendations to help you find the best model to meet your requirements.

Maintenance and support

Always ask about a dealer’s after-sales support and any maintenance services they offer. Reliable dealers will encourage you to stick around for regular maintenance and repairs – and they’ll also be able to access the right replacement parts for you.

Transparent pricing

Look for a dealer with transparent pricing and avoid anywhere with vague wording about pricing that could indicate hidden costs. Dealers should provide quotes that are detailed, clear and easy to understand.

Find out more: Why it’s worth buying through an official forklift truck dealer

How to get the best price on a new forklift

It’s natural to want to secure the best price when purchasing a new forklift truck – they’re expensive pieces of equipment, after all. Here are some key points to keep in mind in order to get the best price:

  • Get multiple quotes to find the most competitive offers
  • Ask about special promotions or discounts which may take place during certain periods
  • Explain your budget constraints and be prepared to negotiate
  • Look into any financing options offered by the dealer
  • Consider a used or demonstrator model, which are often much more budget-friendly

By following these points, you can ensure you get a new, more reliable machine while also making a great value investment.

We hope this article taught you more about when it’s time to buy a new forklift, and how to get started with the process. At Moorgate, we have more than 30 years’ experience and specialise in providing new and used forklifts for sale and hire. Please reach out to find out how we can help your business.

Contact our friendly team for advice.

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